6 N.Y. Shops Circle $25 Mil. JetBlue

NEW YORK Six New York agencies are competing to handle JetBlue’s estimated $25 million creative and media account, including creative incumbent The Ad Store, an independent, sources said.

The other shops are independents Taxi, Amalgamated and mcgarrybowen; WPP Group’s JWT; and Publicis Groupe-backed Bartle Bogle Hegarty, said sources. The contenders, which either declined comment or did not return phone calls, have been briefed, and final presentations are scheduled for next month, according to sources.

The media incumbent, independent Wieden + Kennedy in New York, is not defending. The review is being managed by New York consultancy Gilbert Taney Farley.

Established in 2000, JetBlue maintains headquarters in Forest Hills, N.Y.

JetBlue has steadily increased its media spending over the last few years. According to TNS Media Intelligence, the low-cost airline spent $15 million in U.S. media in 2001, $20 million in both 2002 and 2003, and about $25 million last year. From January through June of this year, it spent $15 million.